Archive for the ‘interpretation of the Scriptures’ Category

Scripture interprets Scripture

December 30, 2011

When controversy then happens, for the right understanding of any place or sentence of scripture, or for the reformation of any abuse within the kirk of God, we ought not so much to look what men before us have said or done, as unto that which the Holy Ghost uniformly speaks within the body of the scriptures, and unto that which Christ Jesus himself did, and commanded to be done.[16] For this is a thing universally granted, that the Spirit of God (which is the Spirit of unity) is in nothing contrary unto himself.[17] If then the interpretation, determination, or sentence of any doctor, kirk, or council, repugn to the plain word of God written in any other place of scripture, it is a thing most certain, that there is not the true understanding and meaning of the Holy Ghost, supposing that councils, realms, and nations have approved and received the same. For we dare not receive and admit any interpretation which directly repugns to any principal point of our faith, or to any other plain text of scripture, or yet unto the rule of charity.

Scots Confession, 1560

Universalism is not taught in Scripture

May 11, 2011

As even universalists have to admit:

It is best in fact to admit quite frankly that any view of the future destiny of [unbelievers] which is to be tolerable to us today must go beyond the explicit teaching of the New Testament….[This] does not really give us what we want, and it only leads to insincerity if we try to satisfy ourselves by artificial explanations of its language. And we are in the end on surer ground when as Christians we claim the right to go beyond the letter, since we do so under the irresistible leading of the moral principles of the New Testament and of Christ Himself.

C. W. Emmet’s, ‘The Bible and Hell’ (1917) quoted by Richard Bauckham

Of course, like modern universalists such as Rob Bell, Emmet had to impose a paradigm on the NT and ignore/downplay texts that did not ‘fit’. This reminds me of what Sherlock Holmes might say:

I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

source

The universalist twists the data to suit the universalist theory rather than adopt a theology that suits the facts of the NT texts.

Looking for the text’s ‘deeper meaning’?

February 25, 2011

…before I was a Christian, I was in a cult whose answer to every uncongenial passage was, “We have to look for the deeper meaning.” Funny how the “deeper meaning” was always the precise opposite of what the passage said, and exactly in harmony with what our cult believed.

Dan Phillips

My hope is built on nothing less than Scofield’s notes and reference

December 24, 2010

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Scofield’s notes and reference

I dare not trust this Thompson’s chain

But wholly lean on Scofield’s fame

 

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Scofield’s notes and Moody Press

On Scofield’s notes and reference

 

It taught me to divide the truth

By reading James and chucking Ruth

It lets me chose which laws are right

Which helps me in my daily fight

 

The dangers of relying on others’ interpretation…

Christ – the Final Word in the Sentence

August 16, 2010

The Old Testament has been compared by Dr. Emil Brunner to the first part of a sentence and the New Testament to its second and concluding part. This comparison is all the more forceful if we think of a complex sentence in Dr. Brunner’s native German tongue, where the sense of the whole cannot be comprehended until the last word is spoken. So God, to the fathers through the prophets, spoke the first part of His salvation-bringing sentence; but the last word, completely revealing and redeeming, was spoken in His Son.

FF Bruce, The Book and the Parchments

Any given text is more meaningful when related not only to its immediate context, but also to the entire plan of redemption revealed in the entire Bible

June 5, 2010

Any given text is more meaningful when related not only to its immediate context, but also to the entire plan of redemption revealed in the entire Bible.

Gospel and Kingdom, Graeme Goldsworthy [Found in Graeme Goldsworthy, The Goldsworthy Trilogy (Paternoster Press, 2008)] , p.31

The New is in the Old contained – the Old is in the New explained

November 4, 2009

The New is in the Old contained – the Old is in the New explained.

Augustine

or

The old is in the new revealed, the new is in the old concealed.

For who that has understanding will sup­pose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, ex­isted without a sun, and moon, and stars?

November 3, 2009

For who that has understanding will sup­pose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, ex­isted without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indi­cate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.

Origen of Alexandria (3rd C.), De Principiis IV, 16

The debate over the literal/allegorical interpretation has been going on for a while…

the more I see – the more I know …The more I know – the less I understand

October 8, 2009

the more I see – the more I know …The more I know – the less I understand. …I’m the changingman.

Paul Weller

The acquisition of knowedge does not itself provide the interpretive key for knowledge. To know many things leaves unanswered what, if anything, unites them all in a common frame of reference. In that sense, nothing is really known. What is the unity that interprets the diversity of experience?

the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible

October 3, 2009

for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith-History 1:12

Which is equivalent to saying in a  court trial:  “The witnesses contradict one another, therefore there is no true witness among them.  And what’s more – believe me” (even though they claim to be eye-witnesses and I wasn’t at the scene). It’s what’s known as a non sequitur.

more Mormon quotes